Petroleum shortages hit East Coast; refiners in the dark after Colonial pipe shut

colonial pipeline cybersecurity

Petroleum shortages are hitting the U.S. East Coast area, as four days after the crisis generated by the criminal hack into the Colonial Pipeline, the company remains its asset shut. According to the news agency Bloomberg, filling stations in the region are running dry of gasoline and diesel.

Firstly, as we reported previously, one of the largest fuel pipelines in the U.S. got attacked by a cyberhack. According to the FBI, the hacker group called DarkSide is the one responsible for the criminal attack.  

Secondly, it was on Friday when Colonial Co. acknowledged that its corporate computer network had been hit. In that way, the attack crippled a company that supplies 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel. As of now, the pipeline remains mostly shut.

Thirdly, from Virginia to Louisiana filling stations, pumps and convenience stores are turning away customers, as they are running dry of petroleum goods, like gasoline and diesel. Panic purchases are also among the factors for the dramatic shortages.  

Moreover, the White House even relaxed some environmental rules in order to allow gasoline to flow from other parts of the country and face the crisis. However, a fuel distributor from the Washington D.C. area warned about “catastrophic shortages.” He called on government officials to even keep school buses off the road.

Also recommended for you: Colonial Pipeline still shut due to cyberattack – FBI identifies responsible hacker group. Click here to read.

Petroleum Colonial Pipeline

Petroleum shortage boosts gasoline prices; potential “catastrophe”

In addition, as Colonial Pipeline has not yet been able to restart its pipeline, and has said so little about its next steps, oil refiners and petroleum distributors are pretty much in the dark about what will happen to their supply; in the next 48 hours. The official webpage of the company remains down.

Furthermore, frustration from companies that rely on the Colonial Pipeline supply is getting bigger; they argue lack of transparency. However, the Colonial Pipeline Company said in an email. “We have been providing daily and sometimes twice daily updates to our shippers; and also, we have been in close contact with law enforcement and federal agencies to relay information on our restoration efforts.”

On the other hand, gasoline retail prices have risen to their highest since 2014; they have reached $3 a gallon. According to Bloomberg, that “could add to broader inflationary pressures as commodity prices from timber to copper also surge.”

Finally, John Patrick, COO of Liberty Petroleum, said. “It’s going to be catastrophic. Governors should also declare a state of emergency and ask people chasing tanker trucks to gas stations to stay home. Also, school buses stay put.”

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